Next Thursday evening (29th July), City Fans United members will be able to collect their membership cards from the Deva Stadium in a special event taking place in the Blues Bar.
Author: Jeff Banks
Summary of Minutes of Official CFU Board Meeting held on 12th April 2021 by Virtual Conference
Present: Andrew Morris, Jeff Banks, Paul Bodman, Adam Langan, Mike Vickers, Jim Green, Nick Phillipson, Chris Robertson and Kieron Shiel.
Apologies: Alex Owen
Minutes of Meeting held on 8th March 2021 were recorded as an accurate record.
Andrew Morris stated that all Clubs had received a letter regarding the resignation of Brian Barwick, which would take place after the current season. Had spoken to Mark Ives regarding the EGM which had been called regarding the dissatisfaction of the National League Board. Andrew was also going to send an email to the National League regarding what the outcome would be if Clubs were forced to play behind closed doors. Email to be sent 13th April 2021.
Review of Actions – Independent Review regarding Stuart Murphy was now finished and had been put on the website. The Club would be seeking out a new cleaner as the current contract had expired. The skip which had been moved to the front of the club was going back to its original spot (behind the Harry Mac Stand), due to rubbish being disposed in it which was not from the club.
Finance – Chris Robertson had circulated a paper regarding the club’s accounts for the previous three years, in order for the Board to see what money would be needed to run the 2021/22 season. The Board were hoping that the season would return to “normal” with full crowds and no disruption. Contingency plans needed to be drawn up in case the challenges of COVID were still ongoing. One of the most important decisions to consider when the new season started, what would the capacity be for having fans in the ground and would we still have to be abiding by COVID regulations. An added worry was that there would be no government support for the new season. Another concern was whether the club would have to deal with social distancing if fans were allowed back.
Andrew stated that an advert had been put out for a new Finance Director but had not received any response so far.
Portfolios – All Board members had sent in their portfolio reports. Mike Vickers wanted it noted that any money raised for the Academy this year, must go towards their next year’s budget.
Staff Pay and Fundraising – It was noted that the Board felt staff had suffered during the COVID pandemic and would look at the figures. Kieron Shiel said he would do this as it fell under his portfolio. It was also decided that the holiday policy should be revisited to make sure staff were taking the holiday they were entitled to.
AOB – Jeff Banks mentioned that he had a request from Kaizen to put a logo on the reverse of the Season Ticket card, in the top right-hand corner.
Andy mentioned to the Board that Andy Fearon had passed away and would be sending the Board’s condolences to the family.
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The March Draw of the Seals Lottery took place recently, and we are delighted to announce the following winners:
1st John Moore No 426 £469.00
2nd John O’Gorman No 769 £351.50
3rd John Needham No 343 £234.50
This day back in 2010, City Fans United were awarded the lease to the Deva Stadium by Cheshire West and Chester Council, a move which was greeted with celebration by Chester fans.
Recent events in English football have demonstrated just how important it is that fans have a voice and input into decisions and the running of their football clubs.
At Premier League level, we have seen what can happen when clubs fail to consult with their supporters before making decisions, which don’t just affect their own clubs, but risking the future of the entire football pyramid.
Chester FC is wholly owned by its fans and as those familiar with our story will know, the pitfalls of private ownership can be significant if supporters are not consulted or represented when it comes to the running of their club.
Following the liquidation of Chester City FC in 2010, Chester fans vowed to safeguard the future of football in the City and reformed as a 100% supporter-owned community football club.
We have made great strides in the 11 years since, winning three league championships, enjoying the occasional FA Cup run, and building friendships across the non-league pyramid, but more importantly remaining a sustainable club that recognises its responsibility to the community.
Since 2010, clubs have been extremely welcoming to us and our tremendous supporters, appreciating our circumstances and contributing to our journey so far. The help we received from the likes of FC United of Manchester, AFC Telford United and AFC Wimbledon was vital to our development and we are now using the experience we have gained to help fans of other clubs such as Bury AFC.
The power of supporters is no better illustrated than in the efforts of Chester FC fans over the last decade, from the incredible tidal wave of our rebirth to helping us overcome the unprecedented challenges faced in the past 12 months. It is often said football clubs are nothing without supporters but in our case that is unquestionably true.
With growing awareness of the importance of fans and the need for reform across the game, Chester FC fully supports those pressing for change and for supporters to be given a greater involvement in their clubs.
City Fans United, the owners of Chester FC, have a strong membership that is dedicated to ensuring football in Chester is driven forward properly. We always welcome new members and you can sign up via the link below for just the equivalent of £1 per month, it’d be great to have you as our latest signing!
Our City, Our Community, Our Club.
Summary of CFU Board Meeting held on 8th March 2021 by virtual conference at 7.30pm.
Present:- Andrew Morris, Jeff Banks, Paul Bodman, Adam Langan, Mike Vickers, Jim Green, Alex Owen, Nick Phillipson, Chris Robertson and Kieron Shiel.
Apologies: Alex Owen
Minutes of Meeting held on 8th February 2021 were recorded as an accurate record.
Andy Morris confirmed that the season had been made null and void and needed ratification by the FA. No mention had been made of a new league being formed for those Clubs wishing to try and continue. Our Club would choose to not be involved in that.
The summary which had been done independently by Richard Birchett regarding Stuart Murphy was to be put out on the members only website on 11th March 2021.
All staff furloughed full time at 80%, including contracted players. All players staying at the Club would be furloughed until June.
Chris Robertson had circulated a paper to the Board regarding the Management accounts. For January. There is a big drop in payments. Expenditure is relatively high compared to income. Projections expect this to continue until furlough and null and void are fed into the numbers. Next year will be more of a challenge. Club is waiting for decision on the application for the grant/loan. As Chris will be leaving the Treasurer’s post at the end of March, he had put together a simple framework for the budget to the Board.
With regards to commercial events, Paul Bodman stated that the Young Drivers had booked for another six months. A company had confirmed dates for showing films in the car park. The car park potholes will be sorted out in April or May. This work will be done by Vinci at zero cost.
Nick Phillipson had started to undertake a general review of the facilities at the stadium. Will create a maintenance schedule to help with future budgeting plans, prioritising floodlights, heating and painting. The caterer Aaron was considering catering on non-matchdays. Health and Safety survey to be done in May.
Jim Green had a conversation with the managers regarding scouts. Would like to take on Neil Hart. With regards to the Talent ID Event, had received a possible 180 sign ups. Hopefully, this can be whittled down to about 40. With regards to the Community Trust, waiting to announce the funding to the public.
Adam Langan stated he was holding a zoom meeting on 11th March 2021. Has asked Calum from Academy to join the meeting.
Jeff Banks had asked Kaizen whether it was possible to have stadium seat by seat on the system ready for season 2022/23 as with current Covid restrictions this could mean a similar situation to seating for the 20/21 season until we know more about restrictions post June 21st. Will revisit pricing when we know the size of the league. Membership renewals were launched on 1st March 2021.
Kieron Shiel was getting a design for the membership cards priced. A mail shot would e going out to CFU members only for the “Away Kit” design. The Club had achieved nearly £70,000 with regards to orders over the last year.
Andy asked Kieron to convey the Board’s thanks to the volunteers who had helped him out during COVID for all their efforts.
Under “Any other business”, Mike Vickers had circulated to the Board a paper regarding the Academy Scholarship and budget for 2021/22. After discussion, Mike said he would come back to the Board with more information. Andy asked Mike to let Calum know that the Board appreciates all his hard work commitment to the Academy.
The February Draw of the Seals Lottery took place recently, and we are delighted to announce the following winners:
1st Sue Orford No 632 £466.00
2nd Peter Wright No 1093 £349.50
3rd Tony Pate No 1153 £233.00
The drawn was done on the 19th March by Barbara Rogers lottery administrator and witnessed by David Parry
Summary of CFU Board Meeting held on 8th February 2021 by virtual conference at 7.30pm.
Present: Andy Morris (Chair), Jeff Banks, Paul Bodman, Adam Langan, Mike Vickers, Jim Green, Nick Phillipson, Chris Robertson and Kieron Shiel.
In Attendance:- Christine Robson#
Apologies:- Alex Owen
Due to the Coronavirus lockdown, the football club is still closed. All official meetings are still being held by virtual conference once a month and the Board are meeting every other week informally to keep abreast of what is happening. The Minutes of the official Board Meeting held on 11th January 2021 had been read and approved as being a correct record.
Review of Actions: Andy Morris went through actions which Board members had been asked to complete and several were now closed. Nick Phillipson was sorting out the cleaning contract and awaiting to see the outcome of the National League vote and whether club would stay closed. Adam Langan was involved in the Seals Lottery and this is ongoing.
Finance – Chris Robertson stated that he did not have much to report as he was still waiting for the decision from the NL regarding the vote as to whether to null and void the season. The Club had received payment from the streaming.
Update on Operational Issues – Jim Green stated that it was all quiet. Had been picking up some of the work that George had done.
Portfolios – Mike Vickers stated that the Youth Academy were trying to get new players for next season. Timetable has been set at the college for scholars.
Jeff Banks said that not much was going on with Fan Engagement. If the Club stops playing, will use the time to do some fundraising online and also concentrate on the Season Ticket rebates as well as planning for Season Tickets for the 2021-22 campaign.
Adam Langan was going to decide about doing a virtual lottery once he knew where the Club stood regarding the season. The new logo will be going out through the main Chester F C Club. Draw needs to be seen by everyone.
Jim Green said that Will Goodwin had gone to Stoke. Managers, though disappointed, agreed with the Board to null and void the season. Continue to be fully transparent with fans on the funds that the club currently has. Boost the Budget needs maintaining and explain why to members. JG would have a meeting with managers and players once the decision was known about the season. Had been successful in the grant for the King George V scheme from the Westminster Foundation. Hopefully building will start in March with a possible finish in September.
Paul Bodman stated that everything was so different now with matches being played behind closed doors and not knowing whether the season would continue. Need to try and sell the club’s facilities on non-matchdays.